Phonon’s debut on the Halcyon x House Yacht is a breath of recent air for dubstep
Six months ago Phonon revealed “Polyriddim” to the world. It’s a strange f * ckin song, no two choices, but little Phonon knew it was on the brink of the future riddim movement. And now, after its world premiere on the Halcyon x Space Yacht stream last weekend, it’s clear that this is the breath of fresh air that dubstep desperately needed.
I’ll be the first to say that dubstep is my favorite genre, or at least it’s related to drum & bass, but it’s been wildly stale for the last couple of years. And no, the “You just don’t look tough enough!” The argument doesn’t fly when dozens of parking spaces are sent to me every day. Riddim is great and all, but the style is dried out and I can’t deal with the same tracks here with another synth and modified bass and an extra drum or two. It just doesn’t cut it anymore.
When I first heard “Polyriddim” it was hard not to write it off as a simple experiment in time signatures for dubstep. But if we look back now, isn’t that the beginning of all musical movements? Experiment?
Phonon’s debut set last weekend is a beautiful cacophony of experimentation that combines his unique style of time signature manipulation, freeform jazz, dubstep, chiptune and more. It’s wonderful in its melodies, chaotic in its structure, and completely unpredictable. Despite my 10 years of experience with Dubstep, I can be sure that I have never heard anything like it, even from visionaries like Swindle, Badklaat, JAKES or even Plastician.
During 45 minutes of ADHD feeling on the move and mitigated by a minimal dose of Adderall, Phonon takes us on so many different roads that we switch between genres and tempos, zigzagging. It’s a terribly bright mess, and if half of the DJs playing the same songs they’ve washed up for the past 5 years took a page out of Phonon’s book, the genre would be better off.